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Curfew sweep nets dozens of teens across O.C.

November 19, 2010|By MARK EADES


Two boys, cousins, one age 14 and the other 12, were seen hanging around on a street in Orange. The only problem? It was after midnight.

At 1 a.m. Friday in Stanton a 17-year-old girl was crying to a Sheriff's deputy that she didn't want her parents to find out she'd been at a party. They didn't know where she was. She had not told them she was going to a party.

Those three juveniles were among dozens caught in what was billed as one of the largest curfew sweeps aimed at preventing gang problems before they happen in Orange County. Curfews in Orange County begin at 10:00 p.m. or 11:00 p.m., depending on the city, and last until 5:00 a.m. the following day.

More than 300 officers and Sheriff's deputies from all over Orange County – many of whom volunteered their time – patrolled the streets of nearly every city to search for kids out too late.


They worked as part of the Gang Reduction Intervention Partnership (GRIP) run by the Orange County District Attorney's office.

"GRIP works to try and prevent fourth through eighth graders from becoming gang members," said Frank Acosta, a deputy district attorney and coordinator of the effort.

Acosta said that by finding the kids before they are in gangs and making parents aware of the problem, it is hoped the kids will never become part of the gang problem.

State Senator Lou Correa went along for a ride with one of the patrol units.

"It's my hope that when the parents find out what's happening that it's a reality check on their kids," he said.

By the end of the night, the parents of 51 kids were finding out the reality of what their sons and daughters were doing late at night.

The briefing was at 9 p.m. and by 10 p.m. – curfew time in most of Orange County – patrols were out. By 10:15 p.m. four juveniles were snared in Stanton, near the intersection of Beach Boulevard and Katella Avenue, just hanging out. Their moms and dads did not know they were out.

The parents found out when they came to a processing center set up at the Sheriff's training center in Anaheim to pick their kids up. Once there, they had to watch a video presentation about gang problems and what can lead kids to join gangs.

Then they had to listen to members of the GRIP team expose the truth of where their kids were found and what they were doing. After that, Orange County probation officers explained what could happen the next time.

Many parents were in denial.

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Curfew sweep nets dozens of teens across O.C.

November 19, 2010|By MARK EADES

"It takes a lot to get the parents to realize what is going on," said Robert Gustafson, police chief for the city of Orange.

"Did you know your 14-year-old son is not in school?" asked Tracey Rinauro, a senior deputy district, of the mother of one of the cousins picked up in Orange. "He admitted he's smoking pot and he's stopped going to school. Did you know that?"


The mother shook her head in disbelief as the translator told her.

Rinauro made the son look at his mother and tell her he was smoking dope. She also told the boy's mother to get him enrolled in school by noon Friday. She would be calling to find out if she was successful.

"I think the kid's got hope. He just doesn't get that positive reinforcement. The only hope he's gotten is from law enforcement, not his mother," Rinauro said.

Rinauro thinks there is hope for the boy.


After being talked to by Rinauro, the boy joined his 12-year-old cousin in being lectured by probation officers.

"You two cannot be together again unless there is a parent around," said Rammy Chang, a probation officer.

Knowing the 14-year-old had been smoking pot, Chang feared the younger cousin was already following in his footsteps. She did not want that to happen.

Chang told the 14-year-old's mother that if she did not follow up and get her son in school she could be arrested for neglect, as tears welled up in the boy's eyes.

Chang said she thinks there is hope for the boy and his cousin too.

And what happened to the 17-year-old girl in Stanton? Because of the lateness of the hour, Sheriff's Deputy Shannon Parker told her to call her mom to come pick her up.

But because of her fear, the girl tried having her aunt pick her up. The aunt had no identification proving she was the girl's guardian. So with tears streaming down her face, the young lady called her mom. Both parents showed up 15 minutes later, at 1:15 a.m. to pick up their crying daughter.

Deputy Parker advised the parents that he was legally obliged to either have them pick her up, or he would have had to drive her home. The girl left with mom and dad.

"She's going to have some tough explaining to do, but hopefully she'll learn from the experience," Parker said.

"That's what we want to have happen, is that the kids and the parents learn from the experience and that others learn when they hear about this too," Acosta said at the end of the night. "We always hope we don't have to pick up any kids, but we always do."

Contact the writer: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 714-704-3787



ANAHEIM GRIP takes part in county wide Turkey Incentive

Turkey dinners were hand-delivered to approximately 420 at-risk students who succeeded in a Gang Reduction Intervention Partnership (GRIP) challenge to improve their attendance, behavior, and grades in time for Thanksgiving. The turkey dinners were donated by Albertsons’ Orange County customers and Saddleback Church as part of the ongoing GRIP gang prevention effort to keep kids in school and out of gangs. 

 At the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, 450 students at 25 GRIP elementary and middle schools were offered the opportunity to earn a Thanksgiving turkey dinner for their families by succeeding in a gang prevention challenge. The terms of the challenge were determined by each school and included no gang activity or clothing, no disciplinary action, perfect attendance, and improved grades. All of the 450 students are in grades 4 through 8 and were individually identified by their respective schools as being the most at-risk. GRIP does not work with documented gang members, who were ineligible to participate.

Approximately 420 students successfully met the challenge and earned turkey dinners, complete with side dishes, to feed a family of eight to 10 people. All of the dinners, valued at over $10,000, were donated by Albertsons and Saddleback Church. The turkey dinners will be hand delivered to the successful students’ homes tomorrow by police officers, investigators, and staff from all of the GRIP agencies. 




GRIP- Presenting at POP Conference

The Anaheim Police Department GRIP program is proud to announce it has been picked to present at the annual International Problem-Oriented Policing Conference, in Arlington Texas Sept 27th-30th.

 The POP conference is known worldwide as a leader in providing innovative and cutting edge responses to problems that plague communities in the US and abroad. The Anaheim Police Department GRIP program will be presenting a block titled, “Truancy- Ditching a Life of Crime” and it will be presented by Investigator Ed Arevalo, Senior Deputy District Attorney Tracy Rinauro and GRIP Project Coordinator Zitlalic Romero.



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